Friday, June 20, 2008
Turkey Come Back Again!
After being 15 minutes away from elimination in their last game against the Czech Republic, Turkey was only 1 minute away from being eliminated against Croatia. An equalizing goal scored in the 120th minute sent the 1-1 game into penalty kicks, penalty's that Turkey went on to win 3-1.
Croatia controlled the game for the full 90 minutes, but could not score on any of their opportunities. The best chance for Croatia came in the 19th minute, when Ivica Olic's shot hit the crossbar.
The story of the game changed in the 119th minute after a crucial mistake by Turkey goalie Recber Rustu. Rustu, who was playing in replace of suspended keeper Volkan Demirel, left his goal to get a ball that was crossed into the box by Luka Modric and headed in by Ivan Klasnic.
The Croatians celebrated as if they had won the game, but only 1 minute later, Semih Senturk blasted a shot in to tie the game, and stun the Croatians.
Croatian coach Slaven Bilic was furious because he was attempting to make a substitution right before the goal was scored, and the goal was scored after the alloted penalty minute time was up.
As the game was going into penalty kicks, I knew Turkey was going to win. The way that Croatia reacted to Turkey's goal being scored, and all of the players faces going into the penalty's showed me that they weren't mentally in it.
Luka Modric made it easy on goalie Rustu by missing the net completely on Croatia's first kick. After Turan and Senturk scored for Turkey, and Srna scored for Croatia, Ivan Rakitic stepped up for Croatia and missed the net. Hamit Altintop scored for Turkey, and Mladen Petric's shot
was saved to give Turkey the 3-1 victory in penalty's.
This was a game that I don't think Turkey deserved to win. They were outplayed for majority of the game, and got lucky that a few shots that could have went in, didn't.
All that being said, Turkey never gave up hope, and continued to play until the last minute of the game. Turkey has all the momentum in the world going into their semifinal matchup against Germany.